Albums and Mixtapes in 2015
A$AP Rocky’s sophomore album, AT.LONG.LAST.A$AP is the kind of album that will quickly remind you of all the music you should’ve been listening to before you downloaded Young Thug’s Barter 6. Wait! Before we get into a heated music frenzy, let’s take a moment to remember exactly why we missed A$AP Rocky’s swanky rendition of the hip-hop lifestyle. The “fashionkilla” takes us into his personal world and interpretation of psychedelic expressionism in both his music videos and songs. A$AP Rocky creates songs that juxtapose their actual meanings. By doing this, we become enveloped in the artist’s vision of bright fantasy and dark reality. Like, in his song “L.S.D”., Rocky ties a connection between the emotional state of being in love, having sex and the reaction to a dream all while under the influence of LSD or acid. Yeah, you remember the Rocky who said, “…ten gold chains, wood grain, propane, sell the whole thang from the cellphone rang…” but its new vibes over here now “bruh bruh.” I’m talking about “M’s,” “Canal St.,” “Better Things”…I could go on.
After waiting two years to release this sophomore album, Lord Pretty Flacko Jodeye takes jiggy to a whole other level. On this project, Rocky questions his own religious beliefs as an unsaved Christian, the political/societal issues of the prison system while paying homage to one of NY’s esteemed rappers, Max B who is currently incarcerated. The acid-induced album rendered homage to his late mentor, A$AP Yams on the cover and by allowing us to hear Yams ranting in the outro. After we listen, we understand what it actually means to appreciate art and buying his album was one way to show that.
When Future and Ciara split, seems like that was the green light for Future to shake back and I mean all the way back. Dirty Sprite 2 is Future’s 3rd official album and we can all agree that this one exceeded all expectations we had after one leaves a public relationship and family behind to focus on his own career. The ATL rapper is hands down the official new King of the South, forget what ya’ heard. Future has continuously rolled out some of the best club-bangers and music videos for all of his projects. From Honest to Beast Mode to 56 Nights, Future’s identity in the music game can very well be described as trap music for the people who actually love to “dab” out of nowhere. Future’s music and sense of style are paralleled with his unorthodox twists to modern hiphop.
Days Before the Rodeo was Travis Scott‘s first studio album and The Rodeo is out now and kids all over America are raging wild over these hard beats and Travis-esque hooks. Typical Travis Scott music consists of hard-strung melodies and a consistent slurring of normal words that all create an altruistic attitude toward anyone acting out against the rage. With a crowd full of young hip-hop thrashers, Scott has found himself a stable, loving crowd of fans who will pretty much pounce on the heels of their feet to his music and then swear that they don’t remember a thing from the actual show. Why? They were too busy getting drugged/wasted to think about what was happening around them. So, when’s the last time you’ve experienced this? Back in the 80s for a Metallica show? Well, Travis is your modern day rockstar or rapstar or young creative…whatever. He’s always dropping flames and “Antidote” is just a taste of what he can do with such a distinct sound. Travis can create a whole subculture based around his lifestyle and music alone. When listening to Rodeo you start to second guess your morals. Like, do I really want to drink tonight and I have to get up for work at 5 a.m. or I do just want to hit the bong and call off? Really, songs like “Maria, I’m Drunk” and “Pornography” are two tracks on this album where you start to feel that alcohol and good sex should be at the top of your radar for the weekend. I mean, he’s a turn-up guy. You should turn-up too; just don’t lose the job!
Being a young, black kid from the grimy streets of New York its already a given fact that some way hip-hop will have some sort impact in your everyday life. Pro Era’s Joey Bada$$ is still showing us the way back to true and honest hip-hop, not some noncomplex mix of sounds with a silly verse to shadow just how bad the artist actually is. OG Swank (nickname) brings to the table a fresher version of old school flow and NYC flavor with songs that target the youth and its steadily declining culture and upbringing. These days kids are constantly witnessing the unkempt neighborhoods of their cities and the faulty system of justice. In B4DA$$, Joey takes on a lyrical escapade into his childhood and the many issues/thoughts he baffles within himself . This rapper is arguably one of the best in our time in hiphop music. People anticipated his album sales to plummet saying that either he’s just a carbon-copy for what we’ve heard before or that he’s too young to spit so fire. But, with all the naysayers and music critics, he continues to empower the youth and shed light on more sensitive areas that not all young people are paying attention to. So, I applaud him for doing such a great job on this album. He deserves all the success and hand claps.
Drake, Drake, Drizzy! Serena’s boo, Champagne Papi, Meek’s Rival, October’s Very Own, Drake from Degrassi…whatever you want to say; this man’s on fire! Cash Money or Young Money or OVO, whichever team you associate with him or sign him over to, this dude will always remain that dude. Drake has created a swarm of female fans that are purely infatuated by his persistent mellow voice over normally amped up beats. His voice (and we can all admit) is beautiful and works for every song. I don’t care if it’s a “Tuesday” remix with Ilovemakonnen or a “Cha-Cha” remake, we can all keep a Drizzy album in our iTunes playlists for when we’re in our “feelings”. It’s crazy because just when we thought NWTS was life, he served life on a platter with champagne on the side for If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late. Everybody sang, “Runnin’ through the 6 with my woes…” and you know how that shh go! (you sing it too) I believe this album truly helped ring out all the glamorized perceptions of celebrity and opened doors for Drake to emerge as a newcomer to the “idgaf” lane of where rap currently is at this time. The casual flow and natural-like sound helps us understand the artist’s life happenings from his own real standpoint. Although, many of these songs revisit his old stomping grounds in Canada, we still feel connected to him now that we understand what he was actually doing out there. Of course, we can’t relate to everything he says, but if you’re listening its too late. “Ain’t No Tellin” what he’ll do next. I hope its a tour with Future for WATTBA.